Let’s Sympathize, Not Criticize


It drives me up the wall when people don’t sympathize, but critcize.

For instance, if I get myself into a mess, the LAST thing I need to hear is someone telling me, “It was your own fault.”
It’s one thing for me to admit it was my own fault. It’s another thing for somebody else to point it out to me. Even worse is when they give me retroactive advice, telling me what I should or should not HAVE DONE. It takes all the self-control and manners I have not to respond VERY rudely.

Or if I’m down in the dumps, the worst thing to say to me is, “Stop feeling so sorry for yourself,” or “There are a lot of people who are much worse off.”
Please. Feeling sad doesn’t mean I’m entering a “Worst Off” competition.
{Sidenote: I also can’t stand it when someone tries to jolly me out of a mood like that… it’s like they’re not taking my feelings seriously. Let me go through the sadness… I’ll soon come out of it.}

Then there is what I realize is well-meant sympathy. I appreciate the kind intentions, but when I’ve lost a loved one, I don’t want to hear a bunch of pious platitudes. It’s fine with me if someone says something like “I’ll keep you in my prayers.” I pray. [And that’s the closest to discussing religion that I will get on this blog.]
So what ways of showing sympathy do I recommend?

Saying, “I’m sorry for what you are going through. Is there anything I can do to help?” Or, “If you want to talk about it, I’m listening.”

Or just a simple hug, pat on the shoulder, or squeeze of the hand.

I’m just saying.

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